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Tokyo Motor Show

Automotive

Honda’s LOOP and HELLO vehicle2vehicle and vehicle2driver infrastructure

Honda issued a press statement and images of its Tokyo Motor Show exhibits yesterday, raising far more questions than it answered with the brief and cryptic release. One of the primary announcements involved a car2car and car2driver and car2infrastructure communications system named HELLO! (Honda ELectric mobility LOop) and a LOOP portable communication tool that fits in the palm of one’s hand and “allows people and mobility devices to communicate with each other.” The various components of the system look fascinating.Read More

Automotive

Mitsubishi i-MiEV CARGO and PX-MiEV Plug-in hybrid crossover concepts

The 41st Tokyo Motor Show in October looks set to lift the veil on the first wave of Japanese electric cars we’ll actually see in mainstream distribution, so it’s incredibly exciting to see what will be rolled out as we are entering the pre-announcement period for the show. Mitsubishi’s MiEV (Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle ) lineage gets two new offspring concept cars – the PX-MiEV (PX stands for Plug-in hybrid crossover) and the i-MiEV CARGO. The CARGO in particular looks like it will fill an immediate need for emission-free delivery vehicles in the world’s most congested cities and, not surprisingly, although it’s classed as a concept, the company is currently accepting pre-orders for delivery in April 2010. Read More

Automotive

Mazda’s eco-friendly next-generation engines to debut at Tokyo Motor Show

Mazda's “Technologies for Tomorrow” display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor show will see the premiere of its next-generation direct injection gasoline Mazda SKY-G engine and Mazda SKY-D clean diesel engine, which offer improved eco-friendliness and torque thanks to optimized combustion efficiency. Mazda will also reveal the first next-generation automatic transmission, the Mazda SKY-Drive, which offers first-rate fuel economy and a direct driving performance feel. As part of Mazda’s SKY concept, the new engines and transmission are designed to help Mazda achieve its goal of improving the average fuel economy of Mazda vehicles 30 percent by 2015, compared to 2008 levels, without sacrificing performance. Read More

Motorcycles

Honda to exhibit 2WD electric motorcycle at Tokyo Motor Show?

Honda has released images of several new eco-friendly two-wheelers it will present at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, including the EV-Cub electric motorcycle, the EVE-neo electric scooter and its previously-announced PCX global scooter, the first two-wheeler to employ an 'idling stop system'. The most interesting of the new eco-bikes is without doubt the EV-Cub, which employs what appears to be car2car and car2driver communications dubbed HELLO! (Honda ELectric mobility LOop) and a LOOP portable communication tool that fits in the palm of one’s hand and “allows people and mobility devices to communicate with each other.” The EV-Cub also appears to have electric motors in both front and rear wheels, indicating that it is almost certainly a two-wheel-drive (2WD) motorcycle. 2WD motorcycles are expected to become commonplace in the future as, like their 4WD automotive cousins, they offer traction advantages on loose surfaces and wet roads and improve rider safety, especially for learners.Read More

Automotive

New driver-assist systems from Nissan help straighten out curvy roads

We've been covering a raft of new technology from Nissan this week and one of the most interesting is its innovative assisted steering system, which synchronizes navigation, engine, braking and steering systems to help drivers make smoother (and safer) turns. By linking Nissan’s existing Distance Control Assist System to on-board navigation map data, the Navigation-Cooperative Intelligent Pedal can help the driver decelerate or brake as the car enters a curve based on real-time navigation information. Read More

Motorcycles

Yamaha set to launch hybrid production motorcycle for 2010

Back in 2005, Yamaha showed the wacky 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show amidst a raft of other very non-conventional two wheelers such as the aptly named FC-Me fuel cell bike, the ingenious Deinonychus elec tric reconfigurable motorcycle, the Chivicker, Passol and the Maxam two-wheeled limousine. Now it appears certain the bike will become a showroom model in 2010. A series of patent applications detail the new motorcycle which uses the YZF-R6 600cc engine to turn a generator which in turn powers the rear wheel. History shows that every Yamaha styling patent published over the last 20 years has resulted in a full production machine, so there's little doubt this one is also heading for a showroom near you in the very near future. You can expect to see it in the flesh for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.Read More

Automotive

FORUM: Nissan's advanced mini-van design concept

December 21, 2007 In a further exploration of the theme of automobile as communal space displayed by the Round Box Concept shown in Tokyo this year, Nissan will unveil its FORUM concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. The FORUM integrates a number of design features and communications technologies aimed at creating a family-friendly environment including trackless sliding side doors, the elimination of traditional B-pillars, versatile second row "Turntable Seating", an advanced Bose® Media System, multi-camera external monitoring, a built-in microwave and a "Kids Cam" monitoring system which allows adults to keep an eye on back seat mayhem via 2nd and 3rd row cameras mounted in the headliner and connected to the main instrument panel LCD display.Read More

Automotive

Mazda to premiere Furai Concept in Detroit

December 13, 2007 The Mazda Furai concept vehicle will make its World debut alongside the new Mazda RX-8 sports car at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January. Details of the Furai ("Sound of the wind") are still thin on the ground ahead of the launch and just one teasing image has been released, but the car will continue to extend the Nagare (Japanese for “flow”) design language most recently showcased in the radical Mazda Taiki Concept which premiered at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show in October. Read More

Robotics

Robotic concerto: Toyota expands vision for intelligent helper machines

December 7, 2007 Toyota has unveiled two additions to its growing family of partner robots - a new mobility robot and a humanoid robot that's dexterous enough to play the violin. According to the company's release, the violin playing robot can perform a variety of delicate tasks with its arms and hands - each of which contain 17 joints - including being able to mimic the human ability to achieve vibrato on a violin. The new Mobility Robot - which shares its design platform with the I-Real personal transport concept recently tested by Gizmag at the Tokyo Motor Show - is capable of transporting its owner or following in their footsteps as a porter, autonomously avoiding obstacles at speeds of up to 4mph.Read More

Automotive

Hitachi’s biometric steering wheel technology

November 1, 2007 Another technological gem to surface at the Tokyo Motor Show is Hitachi’s finger vein authentification steering wheel system. The potential for this biometric system goes way beyond the enhancement of vehicle security – not only does it provide driver verification in a fraction of a second just by gripping the steering wheel, it also paves the way for authorization of automatic payment in drive-thrus or for music downloads to increasingly sophisticated networked car audio systems. Read More

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